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All Shakespearean Comedies End In Marriage. “As You Like It” Ends In Four. Does This Mean Shakespeare Has Presented An Idealistic View Of Marriage?

1109 words - 5 pages

In Shakespearean times (and, to a large extent, today) marriage had a large role when trying to achieve a stable, happy life. However, debate arises when discussing whether or not ‘love’ plays an important part in an ideal marriage. ‘As You Like It’ encourages audiences to recognize marriage in many different and unconventional ways. For example, Phebe and Silvius have a marriage based on unrequited love.
Phebe and Silvius have a partnership that can be interpreted as a more pessimistic view on marriage; thus, opposing the idea of idealistic marriage. Much alike Romeo from Romeo and Juliet, Silvius is written as a “Petrarchan lover,” – a man who is hopelessly in love with a woman who does ...view middle of the document...

” As burs often attach to people who walk past, Rosalind’s feelings of attachment and love towards Orlando are not so easily shaken. Orlando’s feelings prove to be just as intense, as he says he will, “live and die her slave.” A slave is someone both loyal and submissive to his or her owner. Referring to himself as her slave implies that Rosalind owns him; he is Rosalind’s. Although using the word, ‘slave’ has many negative connotations, it is reasonable to believe that Orlando means to use the word for its intensity as oppose to its negativity.
In regards to falling in love, Spike Jonze wrote, “It’s a crazy thing to do. It’s kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity.” Arguably, Rosalind and Orlando are a good representation of this (perhaps showing the two in a negative light). For example, while Ganymede is tricking him, Orlando believes that there is a literal remedy to love. This is shown with the quote, “I am he that is so love-shaked. I pray you, tell me your remedy.” Orlando’s feelings are so intense and painful; he seeks out solutions that would be seen as ludicrous to the rational mind. Therefore, although their marriage is based upon nothing but love and affection, you could argue their actions are rarely based on logical decisions. It is also important to note that Rosalind and Orlando have only met one another a handful of times without the presence of Ganymede. It is, therefore, difficult to say whether or not they know each other well enough.
Aside from the two extremes, Audrey and Touchstone’s marriage can be interpreted as the most realistic view of marriage. Audrey is attracted by courtly manners. Therefore, Touchstone proves an ideal husband for her. Touchstone seems to marry Audrey for the simplistic reason of female company. A prosaic marriage, the two are not in love but only marry for the advantageous gains. The pair getting married can almost be seen as signing a contract; both parties benefit from the partnership. Their relationship seems very dependent on lust. For example, as shown in Act 3, Scene 2, “Sluttishness may come hereafter.” Touchstone is also never complimentary on Audrey’s physical beauty; which is almost the exact opposite of Orlando and...

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